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Texas CB Paulson Adebo commits to Notre Dame

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Notre Dame’s recruiting momentum continued through the weekend, with cornerback Paulson Adebo committing to Notre Dame. The Texas speedster, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound cornerback, made the decision official via social media on Monday afternoon.

Adebo had offers from Texas, USC, Oklahoma, Baylor, Oregon, Georgia and many others.

Winning another recruiting battle in the state of Texas is key, with Adebo getting onto campus in May for a Junior Day. That the Irish also landed a commitment from Adebo with an offer from Oklahoma also out there should help calm worries that the Lone Star State would be off limits without Kerry Cooks on staff, who was likely involved in Adebo’s recruitment for the Sooners. That’s two Texas prospects in this recruiting cycle, with quarterback Avery Davis very excited about the news of Adebo’s commitment.

Some schools see Adebo as a wide receiver, though Notre Dame has him penciled as an outside cornerback. His length and speed (Adebo has run the 200m in 21.4, according to a report from IrishSportsDaily) make him perfect for Brian VanGorder’s aggressive cover scheme.

Adebo makes 13 commitments in the 2017 cycle after a weekend flurry added pass rusher Jonathon MacCollister and receiver Jordan Pouncey. (Underclassman Markese Stepp also committed.) The run of four commitments in four days nearly matches the five recruits the Irish added in March, when David Adams, Avery Davis, Kurt Hinish, Drew White and Pete Werner all joined the 2017 class.

Adebo caught 41 passes for 730 yards and 11 touchdowns on offense while intercepting five passes during his junior season. Per MaxPreps, Mansfield went 12-3 in 2015, including a 6-0 record in Texas’s 6A level.

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Irish A-to-Z: Scott Daly

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Notre Dame’s fifth-year long snapper has been all that the Irish staff hoped for when they offered him a scholarship. After saving a year of eligibility behind Jordan Coward, Daly has played in 39 consecutive games with a final season on tap in 2016 before turning over the reins to incoming freshman  John Shannon.

While the kick operation hasn’t always been smooth (2014’s roller-coaster with Kyle Brindza and a variety of holders), Daly’s shown a remarkable consistency and been able to handle both short and long snaps. His expertise was a big reason why new specialists Justin Yoon and Tyler Newsome both had excellent seasons.

 

SCOTT DALY
6’1.5″, 250 lbs.
GS, No. 61, LS

 

RECRUITING PROFILE

Daly received multiple scholarship offers before choosing Notre Dame, telling you pretty much all you need to know about a roster position that is often handled by walk-ons or cross-training offensive linemen.

Daly was national long snapper of the year according to Chris Rubio and 247 had him ranked second. He chose the Irish over Northwestern and a handful of other schools that offered scholarships.

 

PLAYING CAREER

Freshman Season (2012): Did not see action. Redshirted.

Sophomore Season (2013): Played in all 13 games, snapping for field goals and punts. Made two special teams tackles as well.

Junior Season (2014): Played in all 13 games, snapping for punts, field goals and extra points.

Senior Season (2015): Played in all 13 games, handling snaps for punts, field goals and extra points. Made one tackle and recovered a fumble on special teams.

 

WHAT WE SAID LAST YEAR

It seems that faith in Daly wasn’t a question—not just from me, but the Irish coaching staff (and sports information department).

It’s worth noting that on Daly’s official UND.com profile, they take great pains to point out that Daly “executed quality snaps on all 52 of his point after attempts, 24 field goal attempts and 51 punts.” (Doing the math, that’s every snap.)

It’s hard to interpret that in any way other than, “NOT HIS FAULT.”

Daly will need to continue that consistency, especially when every other piece of the special teams puzzle will be a new one. So while there’ll likely be a few rocky periods to 2015, expect the battery not to be the problem.

 

FUTURE POTENTIAL

It’s hard to get too colorful when discussing the upside of a long snapper, but Daly sure is a good one. If he’s interested in chasing a professional career, he’ll likely have that opportunity—his versatility and consistency will warrant a training camp invitation. He might be a good low-cost option for an NFL team to consider.

While we’ve taken it for granted, Notre Dame’s ability to hit on good scholarship specialists has been key. We’re a long way from the days of multiple kickers and punters taking scholarships because of swings and misses, like the logjam Brian Kelly inherited.

 

CRYSTAL BALL

With Yoon and Newsome returning, it should be a banner year for Notre Dame’s specialists and their kicking operation. Daly will be at his best when we don’t notice him. So consider this an endorsement for the invisible long snapper.

That should be the ultimate compliment.

 

2016’s Irish A-to-Z
Josh Adams
Josh Barajas
Alex Bars
Asmar Bilal
Hunter Bivin
Grant Blankenship
Jonathan Bonner
Ian Book
Parker Boudreaux
Miles Boykin
Justin Brent
Devin Butler
Jimmy Byrne
Daniel Cage
Chase Claypool
Nick Coleman
Te’von Coney
Shaun Crawford

Indianapolis 2018 RB Markese Stepp commits to ND

BGI / Andrew Ivins / Rivals
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Notre Dame’s run of landing elite in-state prospects continues. The Irish accepted the commitment of 2018 running back Markese Stepp over the weekend.

The star running back at Indianapolis’ Cathedral High School chose Notre Dame over offers from Michigan, Iowa, Tennessee and a dozen other schools after spending Saturday at the Irish Invasion camp.

Steep took to Twitter to make the news official, posting the following statement:

“Thanking God for all he has done & every coaching staff that has extended me a football scholarship offer. However, today after many prayers & conversations with my family, I have officially decided to conclude my recruiting process & verbally commit to THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME. I’m beyond excited to become a part of the legacy in South Bend.”

Stepp is the second member of the 2018 class (he’ll sign his letter-of-intent in roughly 20 months), joining blue-chip quarterback Phil Jurkovec as super-early commitments. The six-foot, 205-pounder hails from the same high school that brought former safety John Turner to South Bend and he’s a teammate of 2017 commit Pete Werner.

Notre Dame’s had their sights on Stepp for a long time, offering back in February, one of their earliest 2018 offers. Already viewed as one of the state’s best running backs, Stepp’s blend of power and speed helped him run for 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns.

 

Irish land Florida WR Jordan Pouncey

BGI / Rivals, Andrew Ivins
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Notre Dame’s big recruiting weekend continued on Saturday evening when Florida wide receiver Jordan Pouncey joined the 2017 recruiting class. He was on campus for the Irish Invasion and gave his commitment to head coach Brian Kelly, the first receiver commitment in the cycle.

Pouncey is a 6-foot-3, 185-pounder from Winter Park, Florida. While he’s a three-star prospect, he’s a national recruit with offers from Alabama, Florida, and Georgia among his 40 college options.

Autry Denson has been recruiting Pouncey for months, building a relationship with the talented receiver who had ties to Florida—his cousins both starred for the Gators before heading to the NFL. But after a whirlwind tour of college campuses this summer, Pouncey decided Notre Dame was the place for him, ending a recruitment after offering him a scholarship in May.

Multiple outlets caught the moment Pouncey committed to Kelly inside the stadium, with video of the conversation circulating online. Many others saw Pouncey show off some freaky athleticism, finishing off a completion from Irish commitment Avery Davis with a pretty smooth backflip.

Pouncey is commitment No. 12 for the 2017 class.

 

Irish land commitment from DE Jonathon MacCollister

Rivals
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Notre Dame’s big recruiting weekend got off to a quick start. The Irish coaching staff accepted the commitment of Florida defensive end Jonathon MacCollister.

MacCollister, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive end, was a teammate of Parker Boudreaux on the Florida 5A state champs at Bishop Moore. He had offers from Ohio State, Auburn, Oregon, Clemson and UCLA among others.

He made the news official after arriving on campus in South Bend.

Some programs are looking at MacCollister as a tight end. Notre Dame sees him as a potential strong-side defensive end, with Keith Gilmore and Brian VanGorder looking at him as a potential replacement for Isaac Rochell.

But if you’re looking for a good reason to like, MacCollister, he gave the following quote to Matt Freeman of IrishSportsDaily.com.

“It means everything to me,” MacCollister told ISD. “At the end of the day, I am using football. I am not letting football use me. I am using football to get a free education. A degree from Notre Dame is using football to benefit myself. I can’t even lie about that.”

MacCollister is another front seven addition to the 2017 class, joining linebackers David Adams, Drew White and Peter Werner and defensive lineman Kurt Hinish. He is commitment No. 11 in the class.